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Published on Oct 28, 2011
To mark the United Nations Year of Cooperatives 2012, members of the cooperative movement have launched a US$50m international initiative which aims to provide much needed finance to co-operatives in developing countries for capital and infrastructure projects, to help trade themselves out of poverty
Cooperatives help social and economic progress in developing countries by creating and sustaining jobs and reducing poverty. Cooperatives have an estimated 800 million members worldwide in over 100 countries, accounting for more than 100 million jobs.
However, funding is often scarce because traditional lenders are either not active in this market, or do not sufficiently understand the co-operative business model, or because businesses have limited collateral to put forward.
The scheme has been developed by the UK's The Co-operative Bank and International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), and is backed by businesses in China, India, France and UK.